Detroit’s Quick Lane Bowl canceled for 2020

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Detroit’s lone college football bowling game appears to be another casualty of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Quick Lane Bowl, held annually for the past six years at Ford Field, is closed for 2020, according to an announcement on the game’s website.

“The Detroit Lions and Quick Lane Tire and Auto Center share the great disappointment of not having a bowling game this season,” it read. “We are collectively very proud not only to establish a new tradition of college bowl game in Detroit, but also to create memorable experiences for student athletes.

“We look forward to doing both in 2021 and the seasons to come.”

Ben Manges, a spokesperson for the Quick Lane Bowl, which is owned and operated by the Detroit Lions of the NFL, called the cancellation a “business decision made based on several factors” in an email to MLive .

A bowling match broadcast schedule released by ESPN on Friday morning did not include the Quick Lane Bowl, which typically aired on ESPN or one of its affiliate networks.

The bowl, launched in 2014 from the ashes of the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, aimed to bring together an eligible Big Ten and Mid-American Conference opponent each year. But having enough eligible teams to bowl each conference has proven difficult over the past four years, with an Atlantic Coast Conference team occupying a spot.

The 2019 game saw Pittsburgh beat eastern Michigan, 34-30, in front of an announced crowd of 34,765 at Ford Field.

A postseason bowl game has been an annual tradition in Detroit since 1997, when the Motor City Bowl debuted at the Pontiac Silverdome. The game moved to Ford Field in 2002 and was renamed Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in 2009.

The game, typically played on Boxing Day, gave ESPN high marks and some memorable clashes. In 2007, Purdue beat Mid Michigan, 51-48, in front of a record crowd of 60,624. Florida International edged Toledo, 34-32, in 2010, while Purdue narrowly escaped West Michigan, 37-32, in 2011.

Six post-season bowls have now been canceled this season, all citing financial reasons based on the current economic climate amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Two of them, the Quick Lane and the Redbox Bowl, had ties to Big Ten.

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